Dance the Day Away at the Rock the Pistes Music Festival

 Get ready for a party on the slopes this March. (c) Chatel

Get ready for a party on the slopes this March. (c) Chatel

Ski-in and ski-out of Portes du Soleil's Rock the Pistes music festival in the French and Swiss Alps

Rock the Pistes—located in the French and Swiss Alps—is one of the world’s few ski-in, ski-out music festivals. It is exactly what happens when you mix 400 miles of Alpine skiing with rock stars, free-flowing wine and rowdy French people.

Rock the Pistes is free to anyone with a Portes du Soleil lift ticket (cost is approximately $53 per day). Here, on the slopes of the French and Swiss Alps, tens of thousands of snowboarders and skiers gather for a week of outdoor concerts. Past performers include British bad boys Babyshambles, Belgium’s ultra-talented Selah Sue, nu-ravers Klaxons, singer-songwriter-expert-hat-wearer Charlie Winston and reggae legend Lee “Scratch” Perry.

The vibe at Rock the Pistes is super chill. Expect to dance around in your ski boots or maybe even a costume and mingle with people who really know how to live. Local wine flows freely, and because the Rock the Pistes festival takes place in the spring, the weather is typically warmer and more temperate. 

Because the concerts are held at pop-up stages in a different resort each day, expect to have to snowboard or ski from France to Switzerland to see a show. Locals refer to this style of traversing as a “ski safari” (kind of adorable, no?). It can be a lot of work if you’re not a strong skier. In most cases, the ski safari is good fun, allowing festivalgoers to fit in several runs within the Portes du Soleil mega-resort before the concert kicks off. 

 Charlie Winston in one of his many fedoras. (c) Chatel

Charlie Winston in one of his many fedoras. (c) Chatel

The sixth annual Rock the Pistes music festival is slated for March 13-19, 2016. It will feature daily performances by: 

•    Gotthard
•    Hubert-Felix Thiefaine
•    Deluxe
•    Two Door Cinema Club
•    Izia

Concerts begin at 1.30 p.m., and you will need skis or a snowboard to reach the venues. The party continues when the slopes close for the day. Head to various bars in town for après ski, typically between 5 and 7 p.m. Expect live music, DJs mixing French house music with pop hits, mojitos and Hawaiian lies (why? your guess is as good as mine). 

  French/Finnish indie pop band   The dø (c) Chatel

French/Finnish indie pop band The dø (c) Chatel

My trip to the Alps was made possible by Atout France. Views expressed are my own.